Small- and medium-sized businesses have a great deal of advantages to offer their customers, such as more personal service and more unique product lines. However, these advantages bring with them a unique set of challenges as well. One area where SMBs can face difficulty is recruiting and hiring quality candidates. These hiring tips for SMBs outline these challenges and explain how to overcome them.
Market and Recruit
SMBs do not always have the name recognition that prompts jobseekers to check them for openings, so they have to market themselves in settings where quality candidates are likely to congregate. Establishing a presence at job fairs and on job boards is a traditional strategy, but if you want to make contact with the best candidates, you have to move to social media. When you maintain an approachable social media presence, you have the opportunity to produce and share content that helps followers conceptualize how your company operates both internally and externally.
Overall, companies who have turned to social media recruiting have enjoyed great success. According to research compiled by SCORE, the number of businesses that have hired candidates through social media advertising is rapidly increasing. Furthermore, the surveyed companies gave their social media hires quality ratings of almost 50 percent greater than candidates obtained through other resources.
Define Your Needs
Many smaller businesses become overwhelmed when experiencing growth because they are in uncharted territory with little guidance as to how to proceed. When you know that it is time to hire new personnel, it is important to define exactly what roles you need your new employees to fill. Once you have defined the roles, write job descriptions outlining required employee qualifications and the position duties.
In addition to offering the specific requirements of the job, your job descriptions must also be legally sound. If you have access to legal counsel, have them review your descriptions to ensure that they do not contain discriminatory language. It is also smart to add a line stating that you are an Equal Opportunity Employer and that the job description does not constitute a job offer.
Brush Up on Hiring Best Practices
Growing businesses often lack a full-sized HR department. If you and your other employees do not have specialized training in best practices for hiring, make sure to brush up on fundamentals such as how to analyze resumes and conduct effective interviews. This is also a good time to strengthen your understanding of any legal regulations that specifically apply to your business.
You may also want to investigate hiring tools that can save you precious time and free up valuable resources. A simple online search will reveal countless options that all promise to make hiring faster and easier in one manner or another.
Conduct the Interviews
It is important to conduct your job interviews in a manner that not only gleans helpful information from candidates, but also protects your company. One of the best hiring tips for SMBs is to cover yourself on both fronts by limiting your questions to topics pertaining to the candidate’s role in the job. Do not ask personal questions or make absolute claims about how your business operates.
Call the References
Taking on new employees carries greater risk for SMBs than it does for bigger companies, because they must devote a greater proportion of their man-hours to recruiting. If the employee turns out to be a bad fit, the whole process must start again. This is why it is especially important for SMBs to conduct background checks and speak to references. Ask your candidates to provide references from a variety of settings so you can obtain accurate concepts of them as employees and as people.
Make the Offer
Once you have decided which candidate can best meet the needs of the job, make your offer promptly so you do not lose your choice to another company. Have a lawyer review your offer letter and be sure that both you and the new employee sign it.
Build Your Company
Expanding your company is an opportunity to both strengthen your existing culture and bring fresh perspectives on board. These hiring tips for SMBs can help you protect what you have built so far and help it flourish in the future.